Growing Water Lilies in Containers

Growing Water Lilies in Containers

When we think of Water Lilies, we tend to think of village ponds and lakes.  Water Lilies come in all different sizes and there are dozens of small Water Lily cultivars that are easy to grow in containers requiring little maintenance.  This article is a step by step guide to creating a stunning floral water feature that will display an array of natural summer color for you to enjoy.  Water Lily containers need to be sighted in full sun and will look great on their own or as multiple features for lawns, decking areas, patios and even balcony’s.


Water gardening in containers is nothing new, but the amount of different Water Lilies that are suitable for growing in containers, are very new.  There have been a lot of new Water Lily cultivar introductions over the last few years, see the image of Nymphaea Heartbeat below,


First you need to find a watertight container.  Here at Lilies Water Gardens, we sell patio tubs which are ideal as they can be free standing or, sunk down into your garden so they are level with the grass, but there are still plenty of other options.  Basically, anything that holds water as long as it has a minimal water depth of 8 inches and a minimal diameter of 12 inches will suffice. You could even use an old style rectangular shaped basin which will make a perfect miniature water garden giving you an interesting and rustic feel to the feature itself and will enhance any garden.


For best results, avoid using aquatic baskets when planting up water containers.  Water Lilies always grow and flower to their full potential when allowed to spread, so whatever container you use, I would suggest adding good aquatic soil straight into the container allowing a water depth of 6 inches above.  Next add Osmocote tablets or any other tablet form of feed for aquatic pond plants as this will give them the best start. If you are going to use Osmocote tablets, you will need to add THREE of these 5-6 month slow release tablets to every square feet and this needs to be done in March and again in July.


You should now be ready for the interesting part of planting up your container.  It is a wrongly directed myth that Water Lilies like to be planted with 1 or 2 inches of their rhizomes above soil level.  I would suggest that you simply plant the rhizome/ tuber of your chosen cultivar, at a 45 degree angle with the crown (growing point) about 1 cm below the soil level and then press the rhizome/tuber in firmly.  Water Lilies do like to be planted tightly into the container.





 Quantities and color

If you are planting into a very small container, you are probably best planting just one Water Lily cultivar.  However, if you are planting into patio tubs which we sell at our nursery, or a rectangular basin which is mentioned above or indeed, any larger sized container, then you have the option of multi-planting.  A patio tub will happily house 3 to 6 different cultivars, resulting in a display of numerous different Water Lily blooms at any given time throughout the months of June to Mid-September.

Here at Lilies Water Gardens, it gives me great pleasure to be able to offer you the widest selection of small and miniature Water Lily cultivars which are available to buy online from our retail nursery, so visit our website

Also on our website you will find over 750 pond plants and water garden plants as well as all the pond planting accessories needed to grow healthy looking plants all spring-summer long.


Water Lilies are us!